It's been a while.. what.. what is this place??
In my absence I've been working my way through a glorious mountian of Howling Gale Ale and saving my money for a trip that involves a lot of beer, and a brewkit. There's my excuse, so don't think for a second my mind isn't still on the goods.
Because of that, I've not tried very many new beers, and that's not about to change here either. Rather, I try Kindred Spirit from the bottle, after enjoying it on tap at the Franciscan Well Easterfest. As a whiskey barrel-aged stout at 7% ABV, you'd expect it to hold up well in the cupboard for a few weeks, but that doesn't count for the sweltering heat Ireland is having at the moment. As such, I see an unusual amount of sediment at the bottom of the glass upon pouring. Nothing nasty suggested on the aroma though, as the gorgeous maple syrup, milk chocolate and smoke notes unfold to reveal hints of the eponymous spirit, with it's woody vanilla and light spice character. On the palate, there are plenty of enjoyable chocolate, vanilla and roasted notes, but things start to unravel at the finish, where there's a sharp sour note that shocks the mouth and cuts right across the delicate balance of the rest of the beer.
Kindred Spirit is a great stout, one that must be tried. However, if you get your hands on a bottle, don't neglect it in a warm room, drink it fresh.